SPIVEY’S CORNER — Midway took game one of the Eastern Championship’s best of three series at home against North Lenoir Tuesday evening, 11-1 in five innings. Dylan Hardison was brilliant in his efforts on the mound, pitching the complete five innings, giving up just one run on three hits, a walk, and two hit batters. Hardison struck out five North Lenoir batters.
Midway got on the board early, scoring two runs in the first inning and three in the second for an early 5-0 lead. Midway lead 9-0 entering the top of the fifth, when North Lenoir was able to plate their first run on a single. The Raiders came back in the bottom of the fifth with two runs to end the game in five innings due to the ten-run rule.
Cody Baker, who had been struggling recently at the plate for Midway had a big night Tuesday. Baker went 3-4 with 2 RBIs, including a double. Baker set the tone of the game in the bottom of the first inning. As the lead-off batter for Midway, Baker slapped a hit into center-field on a first-pitch fastball. The North Lenoir center-fielder had trouble fielding the ball, so Baker used his aggressiveness and speed to reach third for Midway. He would later score on a passed ball, which really seemed to rattle the North Lenoir pitcher. “Cody made a few tweaks in practice and came put and played well for us tonight. We had a few guys make minor tweaks and then come out and hit the ball well tonight, like Luke and Kyle,” said Midway’s head coach Jason Fussell.
Luke Clark went 2-3 with 2 RBIs and Kyle Hawley went 2-4 with 4 RBIs, including two-run double to put Midway up 8-0 in the fourth inning. Troy Spell added a hit and an RBI for Midway.
“We’ve been here before, so we know that it’s a long series,” said Fussell, whose team plays at North Lenoir Wednesday evening. He thinks his team will be focused and not let their blowout victory in game one effect the way that they approach game two.
The Raiders are just a win away from returning to the NCHSAA Class 2A State Championship in Greensboro for the second straight year. If game three is necessary, the rubber match will be played back in Spivey’s Corner on Friday night.